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COMMUNICATION

Human communication is an intentional act performed by a human agent for the purpose of causing some effect in an attentive human recipient. Our ability to use language to build words, combine these into meaningful sequences and then articulate them through speech that makes us the most powerful communicators on the planet. This article considers the prerequisite skills for developing communication and the necessity of intention in the process of communication.

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Body Language

This article discusses body language in communication. Body language augments and enhances our verbal communication. The various eye movements, body postures and facial expressions that we use expand our capacity to express meaning. Body language is a good example of non-verbal communication.

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Child-directed Speech

Caregivers unconsciously modify their speech when talking to babies and infants. Sometimes known as motherese or parentese, this linguistic behavior is now commonly known as child-directed speech. It is typified by such things as the adult speaking in monologues, using grammatically simple structures and using exaggerated intonation.

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Communication Model

Any communication model is just a conceptual framework that simplifies our understanding of the complex communication process. This article discusses a transmission model, underpinned by Information Theory, known as The Communication Chain. The three elements of production, transmission and reception are discussed. In addition, the function of the cognitive, linguistic, physiological and acoustic levels for both the agent (speaker) and recipient (listener) are explained.

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Communication Problems

Communication problems are variously described as communication disabilities, a communication disorder or simply as trouble talking. The ways in which effective communication may be disrupted are vast. However, we can begin to understand these in relation to a communication model known as The Communication Chain. This model helps us classify communication disabilities according to the level at which a disruption occurs: linguistic, physiological or acoustic. We will see that language difficulties are generally a product of disruption at the linguistic level and speech difficulties are largely a result of disruptions at the physiological level.

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Communication Theory

Communication theory seeks to explain the production of information, how this is transmitted, the methods used to deliver it, and how meaning is thereby created and shared. Theories are collections of logical assumptions and rules which predict how a phenomenon will behave. Models are conceptual frameworks that describe the application of a theory to particular cases. These differences are highlighted with reference to Information Theory. Communication theory can be subdivided into: intrapersonal, interpersonal, group, organizational and public. An example of each of these subdivisions is provided.

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Communicative Competence

Competence It has been suggested that our ‘linguistic competence’ (Chomsky, 1965) consists simply of the ability to construct ‘well-formed sentences’. The sociolinguist Del Hymes (1979) considered this notion to be far too narrow, and proposed the term ‘communicative competence’ to account for speakers’ ability to use language…

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